Update: Care4Kids Slots Continue to Decrease

From May 2016 to May 2017, Connecticut continued to lose child care slots for low-income families and children, with more than 5,100 slots lost to cut backs in just one year. Use this interactive map to explore how many slots for Care4Kids were lost in your town and around the state. As this map shows, losses were felt across the state, with some communities harder hit than others as available child care slots continue to dwindle. 

The Care4Kids program remains in crisis. Last August, changes to the Child Care Development Block Grant (CCDBG) resulted in the closure of the program to all new enrollees with the exception of TANF families. Since then the number of child care slots children in low-income, working families has steadily decreased as children continue to age out of the program while no new children are allowed to enroll. As the recent figures show, the serious drop in slots across Connecticut has only gotten worse and there is no end in sight. Click here to read more about what caused the Care4Kids crisis. 

Examining the losses in available child care slots from May 2016 to May 2017 provides a comprehensive overview of how cuts to the Care4Kids program have significantly impacted in Connecticut. In May 2016, there were a total of 21,421 slots available. Just 12 months later, in May 2017, only 16,276 slots remained representing a 24% decrease statewide. The most recent figures for statewide Care4Kids losses are consistent with the downward trend observed in prior months—­­­ from April 2016 to April 2017 alone there was a 4,800 slot or 22.39% decrease in available slots. The decrease in slots over a 12 month period has steadily increased since December 2016.

From May 2016 to May 2017, nearly half of all child care slots lost were Infant/Toddler slots. In that time, an equal proportion of Preschool and School Age Slots were also lost. As the interactive map shows, larger communities clearly experienced the greatest drop in available slots, though smaller towns have also seen their few remaining slots completely disappear within the last year.  As the summer continues, the decrease in slots will likely continue to expand and impact low-income, working families, particularly as families who had dependent on Care4Kids subsidies to pay for summer camp and summer childcare are no longer able to access critical funds. Therefore, when the numbers for June become available, we are likely to see a huge drop in available slots. 

What You Can Do:

The Senate GOP, House GOP, Democrats, and the Governor all proposed different solutions to solve the $33 million dollar shortfall that closed the program.

The proposals:

  • Governor's Budget:  Maintains closure of the program by cutting $7.4 million (6%) in FY 2018 and $12.6 (10%) in FY 2019. However, it keeps the program in the Office of Early Childhood.
  • Democratic Budget: Partially reopens the program in FY 2018 by allocating an additional $2.8 million (2%) in the first year by transferring TANF funds from DSS to the Care4Kids program. In the second year, however, the budget maintains the Governor’s FY 2019 $12.6 million cut and does not allocate any additional funds. The program is transferred from the Office of Early Childhood to the Department of Education.
  • Senate GOP Budget: Partially reopens the program by allocating an additional $2.8 million (2%) in FY 18 and $8 million (6%) in FY 2019. The program is transferred from the Office of Early Childhood to the Department of Education.
  • House GOP Budget: Maintains cuts similar to those in the Governor’s proposal, cutting the program $7.4 million (6%) in FY 2018 and $12.6 (10%) in FY 2019, keeping the program closed to new families. It also keeps the program in the Office of Early Childhood.

None of these solutions are sufficient to fully fund and reopen the Care4Kids program. As legislators continue to work toward a budget agreement, it is vital now than ever to call your representatives and tell them to support low-income, working families by fully funding and reopening Care4Kids. Even as some legislators express opposition to pursuing new revenue options to secure necessary funding for key programs, it is important to remind lawmakers that the Care4Kids program is essential in allowing parents to go to work with peace of mind, knowing that their children are being cared for in a safe, stable, and reliable environment. By supporting working families and ensuring that children in low-income households have access to quality child care, Connecticut can work toward the long-term investments that will strengthen our state.  Call your legislators now!

 

You can also see how many slots were lost between August (when the program closed to all except TANF families) and May here!

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